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EFFECTS OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION


THE RISKS OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION
EXPOSURE TO INFECTIONS

Children living in group settings are also at higher risk for exposure to infectious diseases, greater severity of illness, and acquiring resistant organisms. Respiratory (pneumonia, tuberculosis) and intestinal (bacteria, parasites) infections are particularly commonplace. In settings with faulty immunization practices, vaccine-preventable diseases (diphtheria, measles, hepatitis B) may occur. Care in many orphanages may be 'over-medicalized,' resulting in increased needle and medication exposures compared with children living with their families. For example, in many parts of the former Soviet Union, institutionalized children are routinely given series of injections of vitamins or other agents - more than 200 injections in some children prior to age 3. In Romania, needle exposures may also be frequent - HIV-negative children received approximately 140 needle exposures by age 4 years. In some settings, institutionalized children may be exposed to blood products such as intravenous gamma-globulin (used to boost the immune system of ailing children).

 

From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.

 

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